Monday, May 27, 2024

How NYC’s Don Angie Makes Its Viral Lasagna

Don Angie is one of NYC’s hardest tables to get thanks in part to its internet-famous lasagna. “There is a bit of like an Instagram curse with this lasagna dish,” says Angie Rito, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband Scott Tacinelli. “It’s not like we developed it to be photographed; it just so happened that people ended up liking taking photos of it.”

The pasta for the lasagna gets prepped one day in advance. Tacinelli estimates they use around 100 sheets of pasta per day — around 30 pounds — just for lasagna. Each sheet of pasta gets individually blanched in boiling, heavily salted water, and then in ice-cold unsalted water. This process takes two hours daily.

Three different sauces go into the lasagna: an Italian sausage bolognese, bechamel, and San Marzano tomato sauce. The first sheet of the lasagna gets a scoop of parmesan and a quart of mozzarella. “Two things we don’t skimp on ever: tomatoes and Parmigiano-Reggiano,” says Tacinelli, who estimates they use two full wheels of Parmigiano-Reggiano per week.

After the cheese is applied, another sheet of pasta goes over that. The bolognese goes over that sheet, which is also prepped the day before and cooled. “If you try to do this with warm sauce, it’ll totally fall apart,” says Rito.

The next step is to roll the lasagna, using the bechamel as a sort of adhesive to keep it together. The lasagna then sits and gets chilled before it’s cut into its signature pinwheels. Each log of lasagna yields one and a half orders.

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The dish gets plated with the tomato sauce at the bottom with six pinwheel lasagna pieces on top. It gets put into the oven and, once the top is crispy, it’s ready for service. “​​When we were growing up, everybody would always fight over the corners of the lasagna, the crispy parts,” says Tacinelli. “But [with] this, everybody gets a crispy piece.”

Tacinelli says that the restaurant serves more than 100 lasagnas per day on the weekends, in the small, 50-seat restaurant. “I love that it’s become this thing that people recognize from this particular restaurant,” says Rito.

Watch the full video to see how chefs at Don Angie make this dish and others including whole-roasted lobster, buffalo milk caramelle, a chrysanthemum salad, and more.

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